Kirk Evans is a Microsoft Architect for the Azure Center of Excellence.
Introduction to SharePoint and Azure IaaS
Building SharePoint Apps with Windows Azure Platform as a Service
SharePoint Solutions and Architectures on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services
Understanding Authentication and Permissions with Apps for SharePoint and Office
Guy Kawasaki posts on The Art of Evangelism. One of the points hits close to home:
Learn to give a demo. An “evangelist who cannot give a great demo” is an oxymoron. A person simply cannot be an evangelist if she cannot demo the product. If a person cannot give a demo that quickens the pulse of everyone in the audience, he should stay in sales or in marketing.
Ouch. Cards on the table, we can't always give a pulse-quickening demo. Looking back on my calendar in the past 2 weeks, here are the demos that I have given:
A cop-out would be to claim these technologies as too diverse to delve into deeply enough to give demos. Another cop-out might be to point out that some of these technologies are beta. The reality is that these technologies are pretty stable and have been out for at least the better part of a year. The fact is that I realize on a daily basis how difficult it really is to write software on current technologies, let alone keep a keen eye on stuff that is 6-8 months down the road.
The problem remains having enough individual time to learn the technologies enough to give credible demos and not just running through someone else's demo script. I despise going through someone else's written instructions for giving a demo and then regurgitating the script, I much prefer to write my own demos and completely make the demo a personal effrot. However, I am writing this on a Sunday night, while I am simultaneously setting up customer appointments for the week, writing some more demos on Enterprise Services, and making sure that some other demos for WSE 3.0 work as expected.
Guy's post hits a nerve. I don't mean a nerve in the sense that he is wrong... no, he is completely correct. I should be more prepared, do more effective demos, spend more time making sure the demos work and that I know the technology enough to stand in front of the customer as an expert.
So far, my options are to:
I am just hoping my customers are actually intrigued at seeing how an Evangelist thinks a demo should work and decide to go try it for themselves to figure out what I did wrong. In the meantime, I am going to see what combinations of breakfast foods taste good with Red Bull.